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Tactics from Move One!


  • The Universal Opening Trap

    The majority of chess players like opening traps. I believe the main appeal of setting a trap is not the chance to win the game instantly.  What really makes an opening trap attractive for chess players of all levels is the thrill of a hunt... | Read More

  • The Chess Terminator: Hasta la Vista, Baby!

    The game from round 17 of the Soviet Championship 1957 was more proof that Tal was getting back to his great form. Even though it was just a draw, this game was one of Tal's favorites. In his book, Tal wrote that he always loved the b... | Read More

  • The Chess Terminator's Ultimate Solution

    If the title of this article sounds like the action movie "The Bourne Ultimatum," it is pure coincidence, since here we are talking about Mikhail "Chess Terminator" Tal and his first win in the national championship. As you probably remember, af... | Read More

  • The Chess Terminator, Part Two

    Last week, we left our amicable chess terminator at a position where his opponent set a devilish trap for him. Many of you, my dear readers, correctly found the refutation of the trap. In his book, Tal wrote that White's move (25.Rd2) made him ver... | Read More

  • The Chess Terminator

    This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the most influential movies of all time: The Terminator! Is there any person on Earth who hasn't said "I'll be back," imitating the great Arnold?  Even though The Terminator is just a sc... | Read More

  • The Bill Gates Variation

    How many of you could get a winning position against Magnus Carlsen after just eight moves of play? How many chess players in the world could do it? I know one of them, and his name is Bill Gates! Image: NRK/YouTube Not only did he achiev... | Read More

  • The Velimirovic's Guide to the Modern Benoni, Part Two

    Today we'll continue learning typical ideas of the Modern Benoni using Velimirovic's games. But first, I would like to address the concern of one of our readers who, in his comments, expressed disappointment that none of Velimirovic's opponents pl... | Read More

  • The Velimirovic's Guide to the Modern Benoni

    In last week's article we discussed the chess heritage of GM Dragoljub Velimirovic. You probably noticed that all the games used for the article shared the same opening - the Sicilian Defense. This is, of course, not a coincidence s... | Read More

  • Requiem for a Romantic

    Chess is a reflection of life. Our modern lives go faster and so too do the time controls we play today. When I tell kids that I played the so-called Capablanca's time control (two hours and 30 minutes for the first 40 moves) and then the game wou... | Read More

  • The Sailor Who Beat Bobby Fischer

    In last week's article, we discussed how alcohol affects a chess player's abilities. There I mentioned the Soviet grandmaster Ratmir Dmitrievich Kholmov. I don't want the readers to have an impression that this great chess player was mostly famous... | Read More

  • Carlsen vs. Nakamura: the Clash of the Giants

    There are not many duels between elite chess players that generate as much interest as the games between the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and the U.S. number one Hikaru Nakamura. Indeed, everyone can find something of interest. What will prevail:... | Read More

  • Kasparov's Blitz Recipe

     Kasparov's My Great Predecessors series of books is a trove of invaluable information. Garry is a real King Midas of chess since whatever chess subject he touches, he turns into gold. Whether you want to improve your tactical skills, le... | Read More

  • Fischer, Tal, and the most frequently forgotten chess rule

    Let me start from the very end of this story. Sousse Interzonal 1967 will always be remembered for Fischer's withdrawal after ten rounds. At that point he had seven wins and three draws. Even though the participants were supposed to play 22 game... | Read More

  • A Chess Player's Best Friend, Part 2: Check Your Discovered Checks!

    Last week we discussed one of the most powerful chess weapons: a discovered check. Today you can hone your tactical skills by solving our big test. These puzzles have many different tactical themes, but all of the combinations are based on discove... | Read More

  • A Chess Player's Best Friend

    Let me start today's article with a little brain teaser. What can every single chess piece (that is king, rook, bishop, knight or pawn) do that a queen can't? You'll find an answer to this question at the end of the article. Today we'll talk abo... | Read More

  • When a Loser Becomes a Winner, Part Two

    Any chess player who is familiar with the enormous heritage of the great Nimzowitsch should know his "Immortal Zugzwang Game." The last move of the game is a treat for a real chess connoisseur: In his book, Nimzowitsch expressed h... | Read More

  • When a Loser Becomes a Winner

    There are chess games that have their own names. Everyone knows the 'Evergreen Game', the 'Immortal Game', the 'Opera Game', etc. We enjoy the genius and tactical skills of the winners and their names are engraved in the Golden Book of Chess. But ... | Read More

  • Personal Mona Lisa of GM Isaac Kashdan

    As you might remember, in the "Personal Mona Lisa" series we analyze the best games played by strong chess players who as a rule are not that well known. Of course most of you probably heard about GM Isaac Kashdan thanks to his numerous books and ... | Read More

  • The Wooden Horse

    We have just entered 2014 which is the year of the Wooden Horse. It should be a lucky year for people who take care of their wooden horses on a daily basis. Of course I am talking about chess players. For the majority of people the Wooden Hor... | Read More

  • The New Year's Night's Dream

    Last week's column provoked a lot of comments. Most of you enjoyed the humorous puzzles, but some readers had different opinions. Some of them were quite interesting. Like one of the readers wrote: "Seems a bit silly to invent your world with its ... | Read More